The Reds bet on the polish of Senzel’s bat, taking him second overall in the 2016 draft. He has proven to be a fast mover in his brief pro career, ticketed to start 2018 at Triple-A Louisville and likely to reach the big leagues sometime this season. He’s a potential building block for the Reds; a blue-chip prospect on both sides of the ball who impacts the game in numerous ways. He’s most valuable long term at second base, where his glove will be able to handle the demands of an up-the-middle position and the bat will be plus.
Senzel’s offensive upside has drawn the most attention from evaluators, but it’s the glove that has put him at the cusp of the majors. A shortstop at Tennessee who played all over the field during his three seasons for the Volunteers, his footwork and arm are better suited for third base, where he’s enough of an on-base machine to profile at the position without prototypical corner power. The Reds played him at second base during my spring training looks, showing plus footwork and first-step quickness at the keystone. He has all the tools to become at least an average defensive second baseman, though he’ll need to polish his transfers starting double plays. There’s value in Senzel’s defensive versatility, as he’s able to slide in at second, third, or shortstop if needed. Senzel’s bat will carry him no matter what position he ultimately plays in Cincinnati. In this look, he stayed back on an 88 mph changeup from Michael Kopech (RHP, White Sox) to rip a single through the five-six hole, then followed up with a hard line out on a fastball up in the zone. He has an efficient, quiet, and short swing that is able to spray the ball to all fields with occasional loft power.